JOHOR BARU: Former Johor mentri besar Datuk Osman Sapian has played down his presence at a dinner held by Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang).
The Kempas assemblyman said that he went to the event as he was invited by the party as many of those present were also former Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) members.
“They wanted to know my position and felt sympathetic while thanking me for being with them during the Slim by election.
“They treated me to dinner and that’s it,” he said through a WhatsApp message when contacted on Monday (Sept 7) night.
Earlier, another video of Osman emerged on social media, this time allegedly showing him attending an appreciation dinner held by Pejuang.
The nine-second video allegedly showed Osman in a white shirt with other Pejuang members, including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s political advisor Datuk Abu Bakar Yahya, at a restaurant here.
The video was uploaded by Abu Bakar on his Facebook page. Osman was allegedly seen raising his arm when the people around him shouted “Hidup Pejuang” (Long live Pejuang).
At the end of the video, the 69-year-old is also seen saying “Hidup Pejuang” with a smile.
This is the second video showing him attending an opposition event.
A video posted on Aug 29 shows him allegedly giving negative remarks about Bersatu's direction, going against the party's constitution.
The one-minute and 15-second video of Osman giving a small ceramah at a local restaurant during the Slim by-election in Perak went viral on Facebook.
In the video, Osman can be heard allegedly saying that Bersatu has diverted from its initial establishment.
On Saturday (Sept 5), the Bersatu disciplinary board said it will likely haul up Osman after the coming state assembly meeting.
Its chairman Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas said the Kempas assemblyman would be asked to explain his alleged backing of an Independent candidate in the recent Slim by-election.
“We will give him some time and most probably call him in after the Johor state assembly meeting," he said.
Megat Najmuddin said under the Bersatu constitution, Osman’s membership would be ceased for going against party rules.
“However, we have to take into consideration his position as an elected representative in Johor.
"If the board gives a decision against Osman, it might cause the state assembly to be hung and this will cause many problems for the present government and the people in Johor,” he said.
The Johor state assembly is scheduled to meet on Sept 10 and 13.
In the 56-member state assembly, Barisan and Perikatan hold 29 seats, with Umno having 14, Bersatu 12, MIC two and PAS one.
Pakatan Harapan has 27 seats, with DAP holding 14, Amanah nine and PKR four.